Sunlight Foundation: Influence Analytics 2014: IRS political regs, Keystone XL & cigars draw most comments (In the News)

By Nancy Watzman

That seemed to be the case for the comments about the IRS proposal to regulate political nonprofits. Most of the comments appeared to be organized by conservative groups opposed to the agency setting standards for what constitutes political activity by nonprofit organizations, our earlier reporting showed. Among comments where we found similarity of language, negative comments outweighed positive ones by a ratio of at least 17:1.
Organizing the letter writing were groups that could be affected by any new IRS regulations of nonprofit politicking. They included FreedomWorks, a tea party group that operates both as a 501(c)4 social welfare group and a super PAC. The super PAC spent $1.7 million on independent expendituressupporting and opposing more than three dozen candidates in this year’s mid-term elections, earning a return on investment of 58 percent. Others leading the anti-regulation campaign: the National Right to Work Committee, the American Family Association, as well as Americans for Prosperity, and the National Pro-Life Alliance. An analysis of a sample of the comments by the Center for Competitive Politics, which has been leading the opposition to the IRS taking action on defining political activity, concluded that most were of the comments were negative.